The $283,500 Summer Stakes (Can-II) has attracted nine 2-year-olds, six of whom are ship-ins to Woodbine for the one-mile turf event.
New York trainer Todd Pletcher, who has won two of the last three Summer renewals with Lismore Knight in 2002 and Dubleo last year, has entered a pair of prospects. One, Baur Au Lac, is the 5-2 morning line favourite.
Baur Au Lac, a son of champion Tiznow
, won his career debut impressively, a six-furlong maiden tilt on the lawn at Belmont Park July 2, scoring by almost three lengths. While he hasn't been out since, the bay colt has been working up a storm at Saratoga. His six published works included two bullet moves in August.
John Velazquez, who will also ride heavily-favoured Leroidesanimaux in the $1 million Atto Mile (Can-I), will be aboard the Lucille Poslosky-owned Kentucky homebred.
Pletcher, an Eclipse Award winner last year as North America's top conditioner and current leader among trainers this season with over $12.8 million in purse earnings, will also saddle Dogwood Stable's Wedding Singer. A $65,000 Florida-bred Ocala yearling purchase, Wedding Singer, an 8-1 outsider, broke his maiden Aug. 26 at Saratoga in his second start (first on grass), rallying to win the 5 1/2-furlong event by a length. Patrick Valenzuela, who also rides King of Happiness in the Atto, will be at the controls.
The 7-2 second choice is Michael and Lyn Shanley's Kid Carousel, trained by Randy Schulhofer, who is also based in New York. A son of Lemon Drop Kid
purchased for $80,000 as a yearling at Keeneland, Florida-bred Kid Carousel also made an impressive turf debut Aug. 14, winning by himself by five and one-half lengths in the 1 1/6-mile contest at Saratoga. Richard Migliore has been named to ride.
English trainer Andrew Balding, who has enjoyed much success at Wodbine, will saddle Irish-bred Santiago Star, a winner once in five starts in England. Martin Dwyer, who will ride Play the King Stakes (Can-II) winner Vanderlin in the Atto, will jump aboard the chestnut son of Hussonet for the second time.
Trainer Graham Motion has shipped Smoke Em Again up from Saratoga for a crack at the Summer. A $55,000 yearling purchase, the Virginia-bred son of Two Punch proved a solid winner in his last at Saratoga, winning by almost four lengths in a maiden 1 1/16-mile turf event Aug. 24. Todd Kabel, who tries for a fourth Summer victory, has the mount.
All horses will carry 122 pounds in the Summer, which has been won in the past by the incomparable Northern Dancer (1963), Titled Hero (1965), Cool Reception (1966), Viceregal (1968), L'Enjoleur (1974), Sound Reason (1976) and Sky Classic (1989).$283,500 Summer Stakes (Can-II, 1:54 p.m.), 2-year-olds, 1 mile (turf)
1/Baur Au Lac/Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez/5-2
2/Bear's Kid/Reade Baker/Jim McAleney/8-1
3/Smoke Em Again/Graham Motion/Todd Kabel/10-1
4/Kid Carousel/Randy Schulhofer/Richard Migliore/7-2
5/Thunder Bowl/Mike Doyle/Emma Wilson/15-1
6/Pallister Park/Jon Dailey/Patrick Husbands/20-1
7/Badge of Truth/Malcolm Pierce/Jono Jones/4-1
8/Santiago Star/Andrew Balding/Martin Dwyer/8-1
9/Wedding Singer/Todd Pletcher/Patrick Valenzuela/8-1